Harnessing the Power of Community

DCCK is thrilled to work with the renowned architects at ZGF to shape our new 36,000 square-foot facility into a welcoming home for our staff, students, and stakeholders. Below is an excerpt on this meaningful partnership and our rigorous visioning process, from a March 2021 blog post by ZGF. To read the full article, click here.  


After operating out of the cramped and dimly lit basement of a homeless shelter for the past three decades, DCCK is preparing to move its operations for the first time. “There’s this historical narrative that as a non-profit, we’re supposed to be martyrs for the greater good,” says Alex Moore, DCCK’s Chief Development Officer. “People who have come through our programs after experiencing systemic trauma and barriers need a place where they can become leaders. If that work is done in an environment that is poorly lit, without windows, and built from cinder blocks, that demeans their work.” 


The move is the culmination of a six-year partnership with ZGF, an award-winning architecture and interior design firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Canada, and Washington, DC. Over the last six years, ZGF has helped DCCK define its real estate needs, evaluate sites across the city, and design its future headquarters. DCCK’s new 37,000 square-foot facility in DC’s Buzzard Point neighborhood will allow it to triple its operational capacity, foster connections with the community, and better serve its staff, students, and volunteers. A retail café, dedicated production and training kitchens, volunteer areas, and administrative workspace will all be consolidated under one roof. 


With its new headquarters, DCCK and ZGF are challenging the martyr mentality. A state-of-the-art production kitchen and culinary support spaces are appropriately planned for a high level of meal production. New dedicated training facilities aim to optimize learning outcomes and prepare students for their future careers. The project, which is targeting Fitwel 3-Star certification, will employ healthy design strategies (think natural daylighting, active circulation, and wellness-oriented amenities) to bolster occupant wellbeing. “Our new facility will help us achieve better outcomes from the get-go,” says Moore. “It will prepare our students for the rigors of work. All of that sets people up for success in a meaningful way.” 

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Your support today will help DC Central Kitchen meet the demands of this moment and leave a personal legacy in the form of a stronger, fairer community in the years to come. For more information and naming opportunities, contact giving@dccentralkitchen.org